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February 2016 Papoose Article

posted Jan 18, 2016, 12:42 PM by Ian Oldridge

As we eagerly anticipate our 2016 sailing season, LMYC members are sure to find this article submitted by club member Hank Jelinek of interest.  New York City, founded by the Dutch in the early 17th century as New Amsterdam, is bounded by interesting waterways that helped make it the great city of today.  LMYC member Hank Jelinek had the good fortune of sailing on 33 foot and 39 foot sloop rigged sailboats on Long Island Sound, through NYC down the East River and the Upper and Lower Bays.


During a Long Island Sound passage, on a blustery 12-15 knot wind trip to Northport, New York, a humpback whale was spotted approximately 1/2 mile off of Greenwich, Connecticut. At first it looked like a garbage can bouncing in the waves. But sailing closer, two distinct flukes appeared about 6 or 7 feet above the water.  For those who need proof, just look at the photo with this article.


An October trip from City Island, New York to Raritan Bay for the annual winter boat layup, was sailed on a beautiful Fall day.  The Wind and Tide Gods were accommodating so the passage was done in less than six hours with the boat averaging 5 to 6 knots.  Manhattan's cathedral building shown in the sun as a cormorant, about to dive for its next meal, was spotted near the Brooklyn bridge.  A majestic Statue of Liberty glistened in the sun as did the Robbins Reef Lighthouse, seven miles south of Lady Liberty.  The lighthouse, built in 1886, is reputed to resemble a spark plug.


The Norwalk Aquarium has confirmed 25 whale sightings reported with one whale actually hitting a sailboat. Ouch! Humpbacks are fish eaters and circles of Menhaden are abundantly available. Whales off Greenwich and cormorants in the East River are the harbingers of cleaner waters. Scallops are even being introduced into the New York waterways because of their filtering abilities.  Who knows, maybe the "safe to swim" sign will someday be posted.


It is already February and our 2016 racing and social events are just months away. Plan to join our club and get the on the fun. You will not be disappointed! You can visit us on the web at For more information, email us at, or write us care of PO Box 29, Sparta, NJ. Until next month, smooth sailing and God bless America!        


                                                                                                            Don Okner